Parramatta City Council and the Sydney Business Chamber have partnered to explore the feasibility of a fast train connecting the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs and the Western Sydney Airport, similar to overseas metro services such as the Hong Kong Airport Express.
The merits of route options have been explored by Aurecon/Deloitte and findings will be discussed at a forum on Friday March 4 titled: 15 minutes – Fast Tracking the Dual CBDs where a fast train discussion paper will be launched.
The forum, which will be attended by two Federal Government Ministers and over 300 invited guests, will see discussion on funding options, international experience with fast rail, and economic development opportunities that would be created.
Various route options have been considered, including utilising the existing corridor between the Parramatta and Sydney CBDs. In addition, three other options are under consideration, which have the added benefit of connecting significant residential and business growth areas, all of which would be developed utilising common tunnelling techniques such as those being used in the development of the Sydney Metro system.
Links from Parramatta to the Western Sydney Airport are proposed to go via the Southern Liverpool LGA or the Blacktown LGA.
Special guests include: Paul Fletcher - Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government; and Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.
In his first public address as the new Assistant Minister for Cities, Mr Taylor will emphasise the Commonwealth’s whole of government focus on city infrastructure funding.
Keynote speaker will be Chief Commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission Lucy Turnbull.
Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Paul Garrard said, “Parramatta has been acknowledged by the State Government as a key growth area for Sydney over the next 20 years and beyond and it is crucial that transport infrastructure keeps pace with our region’s substantial population growth.
“The development of a fast rail connection linking Western Sydney Airport, Parramatta and the Sydney CBD would have a transformational effect on Sydney as a whole. It is estimated that such a link could add a quarter of a billion dollars annually to Sydney’s gross domestic product and it would be a major factor in ensuring the success of the Western Sydney Airport,” said Cr Garrard.
David Borger, Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber said, “A fast rail connection between the two cities would supercharge jobs growth in Parramatta and help connect urban renewal precincts like the Bays Precinct and Sydney Olympic Park. A fast connection to Western Sydney Airport will also ensure, the 30,000 promised jobs will be accessible to residents of Western Sydney.
“If we are serious about being a polycentric city with multiple employment nodes then we need a transport system that can deliver fast reliable and frequent connections from Western Sydney airport, Parramatta, Olympic Park, the Bays precinct and Sydney City,” said Mr Borger.
Western Sydney is already home to over 45% of all Sydney residents and the region is expected to grow substantially faster than other areas of Sydney over the next 20 years. Fast rail would help super charge the region’s access to jobs, improve mobility between job centres and connect people to major job growth industries.
This discussion paper is particularly timely given the Federal Government’s rail options plan announced in November last year and the recent Infrastructure Priority List from Infrastructure Australia identifying the need for better connectivity between the Parramatta and Sydney CBDs.